The Greens will take action on housing affordability
The Greens want an Inner West for all of us – not just the wealthy few. The Inner West’s diversity depends on the ability of people to be able to afford to live in the area.
A fairer Inner West where everyone has a safe and secure place to sleep at night
At last census there were just over 2 500 people in the Inner West experiencing homelessness. One in six young people in Australia aged 15–19 have experienced homelessness, 25 percent of whom are based in NSW. Sydney is the third worst city in the world for housing affordability. Essential workers and their families can’t afford to live near their place of work, homelessness is on the rise, and people and families are under financial pressure paying exorbitant rents to landlords. The current approach to housing in NSW is failing. Successive governments have ignored real solutions and created a system that works best for banks, property developers and the very wealthy – not for those most in need.
The Inner West Council should progress initiatives that increase the supply of affordable housing in local government areas through levying developers and long-term empty property owners.
The lack of affordable housing has reached a crisis point and that the state and federal governments can not be relied upon to fix it.
Councils across NSW have resolved to do more to make sure everyone has a safe and stable place to sleep at night. The Inner West Council can and should take action
Levying developers to create council owned affordable housing stock
While state and federal governments need to lift their game on public housing, councils need to do more on housing affordability, too. Through planning legislation (SEPP70), councils have the ability to make developers pay for affordable housing by contributing a share of their windfall profits when an area is rezoned for higher density use. This strategy has been used in the City of Sydney to help not-for-profit landlords build and initiate 1600 units of housing that is cheaper than market rent. We’ll go one better by making sure that the Inner West Council retains ownership of the units we fund, so that affordable homes can never be sold off into the private market.
More affordable homes
The Inner West Council should take an active role in providing affordable housing (defined as 80% of market value). In addition to the homes currently planned for construction, a Greens-led Council will construct 200 additional affordable homes over the next four years. We will also explore acquiring additional prebuilt property to convert into non for profit housing as opportunities become available.
Revenue raised from developers will be placed into the affordable trust fund, which was created by the Greens in the 2017–2021 term of Inner West Council. This fund can only be used to build affordable community housing, and the guaranteed income stream from the levy will enable councils to finance new housing projects. All rents are returned to the fund to contribute to future housing projects. The community housing will be owned by council and be managed by a registered community housing provider
A homelessness unit
The Greens will establish a homelessness unit and comprehensive homelessness strategy. The unit will research patterns of homelessness and rough sleeping in the Inner West to facilitate action and strategic service delivery. The homelessness unit will conduct a minimum of two street counts per year, and work with the State Government and NGOs such as the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, the Exodus Foundation and Wesley Mission Australia to take action on homelessness.
Cooperative housing is a model that empowers, generating significant social, financial, health and wellbeing benefits. The Greens support the creation of new housing cooperatives in the Inner West.
We will liaise with Common Equity (NSW), the peak body for housing cooperatives, to explore expanding cooperative housing stock in the area.
A Greens led Inner West council will approach the City of Sydney (and other neighbouring council areas), nearby universities, state government and community housing providers to discuss loaning capital to create Sydney’s second student cooperative, based on the financial and decision making structure of Newton’s STUCCO.